Plaintiff Injured Dusting Shelf in Store Not Cleaning under N.Y.S. Labor Law

Case: Soto v. J. Crew

Court: N.Y.S. Court of Appeals

Date: Decided October 10, 2013

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving Brooklyn and Queens; Queens injury attorney)

**************************************************

RELATED POSTS:

ELECTRICIAN'S NEW YORK LABOR LAW CLAIM DENIED WHERE HE FELL FROM LADDER WHILE HANGING A LIGHT

TELEPHONE INSTALLER INJURED IN FALL OFF LADDER WAS "ALTERING" BUILDING UNDER NEW YORK STATE LABOR LAW

Plaintiff Falling from Ladder While Cleaning a Closet Shelf as Part of Renovation Project Can Make Labor Law Claim

**************************************************

Facts: This case from New York State's highest court. This case involves New York State's Labor Law, which is designed to protect workers from height-related injuries; falls from ladders or being hit with falling objects are the most common occurrences.

This plaintiff cleaned the retail store each day before it opened -- dusting, mopping, vacuuming, emptying the garbage and such. This accident victim was on a four-foot high ladder dusting a shelf in a clothing store when he fell. Does the New York State Labor Law protect him here?

The lower courts found that he wasn't entitled to the Labor Law's special protections because he was not "cleaning" within the meaning of the Labor Law -- which is designed to protect construction workers. Defendant had been granted summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's lawsuit. New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals, makes the final decision here.

Held: Plaintiff's cleaning activities constituted routine maintenance and not a "covered activity" entitled to the special protection of the N.Y.S. Labor Law.

Categories